Blake Keesey of the Warriors teeing off at North Kern Golf Course in a league tournament.

Courtesy of THS Golf

Spring showers will soon turn to wildflowers, but already, things are coming up roses for the Warriors boys golf team.

Well, with maybe a few thorns.

Blake Keesey shot a 79 and Rhys Artzer fired an 87 as the Warriors captured their first South Yosemite League tournament of the season on Tuesday, March 14, at North Kern Golf Course.

A week earlier at Kern River, the Warriors finished second in their SYL opener, apparently still rounding into form after a muddy, wet start to the season set them back.

Their home course, Horse Thief Country Club in Stallion Springs, where they practice, only now is beginning to dry out after weeks of downpours forced its closure.

“We practiced the first six weeks on campus and mostly with wiffle balls,” golf coach Dennis Costa said.

Now, however, the team is able to get onto the driving range and some of the practice areas, and Costa said they also planned to hold some practice sessions at Oak Tree Country Club in Bear Valley Springs.

“Some parts of the course are still soaked in mud, but it's nice to get out on the range and practice areas again, which are dried up,” Keesey said.

At North Kern, the Tehahapi squad finished with a team score of 502, which was 21 strokes better than their score a week ago. West, which won the season opener, was second with 530, and Independence finished third at 565.

That put the Warriors into a first-place tie with West in the league.

The most improved golfer for the week was Artzer, who shaved 17 strokes off his opening-week 104. Jackson Caudle shot 102, two strokes better than last week, while Andrew Sanchez had 114 and Cody Jorgensen shot 120 for the team's total. Dawson Cass' 130 was not counted.

Keesey had four double bogeys in his round of 79.

“I was 1-under in the other 14 holes,” Keesey said. “It's amazing what four holes can do to a good round.”

He had birdies on 9, 11 and 14, and he holed out from 35 yards for an eagle on No. 15.

“I can't decide if that was the best 79 in my life or the worst 79 in my life,” Keesey said. “When you make four double bogeys in one round, you shouldn't break 80.”

Nonetheless, Keesey said, he was happy with the win.

“Everybody stepped up and did what they had to do in order to win,” Keesey said.

The Warriors next SYL tournament was scheduled for Wednesday, March 22, at Buena Vista Golf Course in Bakersfield. They do not have a tournament scheduled at home until April 25.

“We are really looking forward to that,” Keesey said.